Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Frigid temperatures that dipped well below zero complicated matters for firefighters who worked dozens of fire runs Monday night and early Tuesday morning in the bitter cold.
One home on Powell Avenue was destroyed by a fire that broke out around 7:15 p.m. Monday. The homeowner returned home to find his house engulfed in flames and when firefighters arrived on scene, flames were still visible.
It's believed an unattended space heater could be the cause, but Lt. Col. Jeff Botner with Louisville Fire and Rescue said the matter is still under investigation. A spaceheater is the suspicion too, with a house on South Second Street near Churchill Downs. The family got out safely, but firefighters had major problems--two fire hydrants were frozen.
"Everything is freezing up." said Lt. Col. Jeff Botner. "It's dangerous walking, it's hard getting on the roofs. (The frigid temperatures) hampers all operations when there are these kind of temperatures," Botner said.
Firefighters across the city are dealing with freezing temperatures slowing efforts down--and making fire scenes even more dangerous. They try to rotate crews when they can, but the cold is taking its toll on firefighters.
A third house fire is under investigation on Bowlling Avenue near Algonquin Parkway in Louisville's west end.
Fire officials say to never leave a space heater unattended, keep all combustibles away from them, and do not use extension cords with them.